What does Hotbox mean in Baseball?

A baserunner stuck between two bases is called a ‘Hotbox’

In the world of baseball, the term ‘Hotbox’ is used to describe a specific play. It’s a situation where a runner gets trapped in a rundown between two bases. Imagine a player is stuck between two bases, with fielders on both sides trying to tag him out.

The key challenge here is that the fielder needs to tag the runner with the ball. So, the fielders have to toss the ball back and forth to each other, getting closer to the runner each time. The goal is to eventually tag the runner out. This scenario is what’s known as a ‘Hotbox’.

Interestingly, you might also hear this situation referred to as a ‘pickle’. Both terms mean the same thing, a runner stuck in a rundown, and are used interchangeably in baseball lingo.

Example for using ‘Hotbox’ in a conversation

Hey, did you see that baseball game last night?

Yeah, it was intense! Did you catch that hotbox play?

Oh yeah, when the runner got stuck between second and third base?

Exactly! The fielders were throwing the ball back and forth, trying to tag him out.